The Fall - Album by Album by Single by Cassette thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jim B., Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Butch said he was going to start this in 2012...I have waited and waited...can't wait any longer. Please note, in the grand tradition of The Fall, any mistakes and misinformation are part of the charm and obviously deliberate ;)

    Given the catalogue is all over the place and if we just did the albums we would miss loads of classic tracks then I think the best thing to do is just every release in date order! It's a daunting catalogue for anyone new to the band, where would you start, but it is full of treasures and amazing music.

    The Fall are quite possibly my favourite band of all time. How do you start to describe them without falling into the same old clichés? They are kind of unique and exist in a world of their own, although being part of the Punk scene, the Post-Punk scene, Indie, Alternative...they were always different to the rest of those bands.
    IMO the most interesting and brilliant group to ever exist!

    We start then with their very first appearance on record, from June 1978:


    A 10" live album which documented the last nights of the famous Electric Circus club in Manchester (which a recreation of can be seen in the film 24 Hour Party People I think).

    The album itself I think is great. It features a very early Joy Division, Steel Pulse, The Buzzcocks, The Drones and John Cooper Clarke, but without doubt the two best things on there are the two Fall tracks - Last Orders and Stepping Out, both of which are unique to this release. Already sounding very much like 'The Fall' both songs are very good, Stepping Out perhaps the better, which really rocks. It's a very basic sound but works incredibly well, and is captured brilliantly on the record. I think I remember reading that a forum member was at the gig (would have loved to be there myself).

    Before this album was released there had been a Peel session aired, and they had also appeared on Tony Wilson's local music show.
  2. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    Great idea for a thread.

    Nothing much to add about this initial release. I picked up the 10" in the late 80s (new copy - I presume it was the mid-80s reissue) and still have it, though I later got the CD. I think I bought it for the stray Buzzcocks track originally, but I was on the brink of getting into the Fall as well (though it took a while before I really appreciated their very early stuff). The band are already completely themselves and distancing themselves from the punk mainstream - but then, that could also be said for most of the other acts that contributed to this mini-album. The 'punk mainstream' was always pretty small compared to its outskirts.
    D.B. likes this.
  3. Echo

    Echo Forum Resident

    I purchased this at vinyl (somewhere in the early eighties) for the contribution of Joy Division, but got also fan of The Fall by that. Of course I'm owning this now also at cd, it's one of the greatest and most important live albums ever!

    I thought it was fellow member @Purple Jim (we exchanged some posts once about watching Joy Division there) who was at that famous Electric Circus gig.
  4. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Well-Known Member

    The Midwest
    Definitely following this. Will probably chime in at some point in '84 or thereabouts.
    broccolid and Gavinyl like this.
  5. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    I just looked at my copy of "SC" a couple of weeks ago and came this close to selling it (since I can't imagine being driven to listen to it again) but didn't in the end. This could be a multi-thousand page thread, you know.
  6. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Yes I was there for both nights of the closure of The Electric Circus. :D
    I saw The Fall loads of times in Manchester in the late 70s. I've mentioned here before I think, that the most memorable gig was at a little old concert room at a place on the student campus called The Squat. They were pretty well unknown at the time (1976?) and there was an audience of about three to five people. It was all very rudimentary, arty and unremarkable. More like a performance art thing. Mark looked so un-rock 'n' roll. Support band were The Worst (the drummer played on a children's toy drum kit). They were wonderfully awful.
    SinnerSaint, trem two, vince and 4 others like this.
  7. noahjld

    noahjld Der Wixxer

    Oh good luck with this one. This could last a couple of years given the back catalogue.;)
    Sternodox and RomanZ like this.
  8. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yeah, I know! Hope I live long enough to finish it!
    Sternodox, hutlock and noahjld like this.
  9. noahjld

    noahjld Der Wixxer

    I hope I live long enough to read it. This is going to be a very interesting thread.
  10. Big-Faced-Child

    Big-Faced-Child Well-Known Member

    Perth, Austalia
    This is going to be an epic thread. I'll be joining in '85/'86
    noahjld, drasil and Beamish13 like this.
  11. drasil

    drasil Former Resident

    here's a band I've always meant to get into but have been warded off by their enormous, byzantine catalogue.

    I'm looking forward to following along and finishing it up for you when I'm sixty and you're all dead.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
    theclogs2002, Jim B. and tortoised like this.
  12. not yonder

    not yonder Forum Resident

    Used to listen to these two tracks loads, but this thread has pushed me to actually listen to the lyrics of 'Last Orders' for the first time. They're great! If you google it, though, you get some weird versions. Surely the first line says:

    'Everybody's tellin me 'do this, do that''

    rather than the online version, which says:

    'Everybody's tellin me to listen up'.

    And the last two lines sound like:

    'The joke's on you - it's the year of the rat.'

    whereas the online version suggests

    'The joke's on them - it's the end of the rap.'

    Not sure which one is right here, though I prefer the rat version.
    D.B. likes this.
  13. tortoised

    tortoised Well-Known Member

    I got this 10" for The Fall tracks after getting heavily into Dragnet, Grotesque and Slates in that order. Admittedly I was slightly disappointed by the straight-forward aspects of their sound on this compilation, except for the whogivesaflyingfukk sonics of the infamous "Snoopy" organ played by Una Baines. I thought this incarnation of the band and its sound excelled later on Live at the Witch Trials.

    Onward...this thread should be fruitfully long and take us into 2018 or longer.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  14. Gavinyl

    Gavinyl Uncertain Member

    What he said mate !
  15. I am really looking forward to this thread, as I've been a big fan of The Fall since about '85 or so. I will have to dust off my copy of Short Circuit, as I haven't played it in about 20 years! If I don't chime in now, I will definitely chime in starting with Dragnet and beyond.

    I hope I live long enough to see the end of this thread!
  16. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    I've got over 100 albums by The Fall, this could be the biggest thread in the boards history!!
    gramfan and jonathan_s like this.
  17. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    I'll hop on full force once we start discussing Dragnet. That's when I think they really started having their unique sound. That said, there's certainly tons of great stuff on the 1st LP and early 45's.

    One of the most addictive bands for sure.
    Sprague Dawley likes this.
  18. Steve G

    Steve G Forum Resident

    los angeles
    the human race various times, don't think ask him, it's the new thing crash bang boom ring I'm in
  19. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident Thread Starter

    ok, moving swiftly on...

    Bingo-Master's Break-Out! EP


    The line-up:
    Mark E Smith - vocals
    Martin Bramah - guitar
    Tony Friel - bass
    Karl Burns - drums
    Una Baines – keyboards

    01. Psycho Mafia
    02. Bingo-Master
    03. Repetition

    What a way to start!

    During the punk explosion there were a number of amazing debut singles/E.P.'s, this was no exception (you get the feeling sometimes that groups during this period thought this might be their one shot). Perhaps Spiral Scratch just pips it. An amazing record and what a way to start with such a statement of intent.

    We were immediately thrown into MES's strange lyrical world, full of strangeness and a great deal of humour. I think you either love the Fall with a passion or can't stand them, and this record is like that, I can imagine people thinking that at the time. Musically and lyrically there is so much going on on this record, choc stock full of ideas.

    Psycho Mafia kicks off, which is a great speed-fueled ealy Fall song. There are a number of early Fall songs like this, they say musical movements are often defined by the drugs being taken, and you can see on this the importance that speed (the drug) played in Punk and especially in The Fall. Speed was heavily used on the Northern Soul scene around the same time as well, which is something we'll get onto later in the thread.

    Things then get very weird with Bingo Master. Two swans in front of his eyes...pure MES genius from start to finish.

    The real killer though is Repetition though.

    Cos we dig
    Cos we dig
    We dig
    We dig repetition
    We dig repetition
    We've repetition in the music
    And we're never going to lose it

    Almost a manifesto for the next nearly 40 years.

    The music sounds cheap and amatuerish at times, I guess 'ramshakle' (was Low-Fi invented with this record), Una Baines sounds like she's playing a kids toy, but it all adds to the charm somehow and works.

    I really like the lines:
    This is the three R's
    The three R's:
    Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

    Still makes me chuckle. The three R's was something anybody going to school in the UK got told about, in that context it meant "Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic".

    Then there is:
    Repetition, repetition, repetition
    Repetition, repetition, Regal Zonophone

    Anybody know why he says Regal Zonophone? It was a UK record label. Perhaps a George Formby connection?

    Anyway, the Fall would go on to make arguably much better records but in terms of a debut release this gets a 10/10 from me and it's still one of my favourite Fall records ever.
    D.B., Summerisle, Crispy Rob and 3 others like this.
  20. jmczaja

    jmczaja Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    Great record and a thoughtful write up! 'Repitition' is what the Fall is all about and is an apt description of their unique sound. Also, I never caught the line mentioning 'regal zonophone', that's classic!! Thanks for pointing that out!

    However.. Wasn't the 'It's the new thing' 45 their first proper release??
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  21. noahjld

    noahjld Der Wixxer

    What? 2085/86?
    RomanZ likes this.
  22. gohill

    gohill Forum Resident

    Glasgow, UK
    Bingo Masters Breakout is one of the many great Fall singles. The whole Fall/M.E.S ethos appears almost fully formed right out of the gate. Can't really add much to what has already been written above. As said, there were a number of great DIY style debut singles at the time and this stands out as one of the best. The Fall sound particularly unique even in the vibrant punk scene of the time. Smith's voice and lyricism stands out. The playing is quite different too, much more avant-garage and ramshackle than a lot of their contemporaries, who despite the Punk year zero stance, still fell back on a fairly traditional scuzzed/revved up R&B pub rock style as seen with The Pistols and early Clash. The Fall begat a more interesting post punk type thing with singles like this.
    D.B., Jim B. and jmczaja like this.
  23. President Carter loves repetition!

    This was the first Fall music I encountered, though a bit later in '81. Just an amazing, don't give a fuch attitude that I grew up with in the North (though on the civilised side of The Pennines in Leeds;)). A bloke singing about bingo, genius! The lyrics connote some of the slang used by bingo callers. 'Two swans' is 22. Bingo is a huge deal to the older generation of working class folk in Britain (or used to be). My grandma loved her bingo.

    I agree though, 'Repetition' is the standout. MES has that directness and matter-of-fact delivery that maybe only John Lydon got close to. Totally unaffected.
    D.B., Adamski777 and Jim B. like this.
  24. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Vienna, Austria
    It's The New Thing was the 2nd single, although did the Dresden Dolls bootleg single not come out around the same time?
    jmczaja likes this.
  25. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Richmond, VA
    Yes, absolutely. This is a masterpiece right out of the gate. Still one of the most enduring Fall tracks for me. I dig it deeply, over and over....

    Came to this on the old Early Years 77-79 comp. One of many import Fall LPs I picked up in the mid-late '80s in Boston after being turned on to the band via the Hip Priest and Kamerads collection of Kamera material. I worked my way back via whatever I could find, and I've been following the band ever since.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
    D.B., Sprague Dawley and Jim B. like this.

Share This Page